Law & Order: SVU Airs Mike Tyson's Controversial Episode — What Did You Think?

Feb 6 2013, 9:34pm CST | by

Law & Order: SVU Airs Mike Tyson's Controversial Episode — What Did You Think?
Photo Credit: TV Guide

Mike Tyson | Photo Credits: Michael Parmelee/NBC

[Spoiler alert: This story reveals major plot points from Wednesday's episode of Law & Order: SVU.]

Week after week for the last 14 years, Law & Order: SVU has depicted grisly, gruesome and unspeakable acts of violence. However, Wednesday's episode of the long-running procedural caused a media firestorm in recent weeks not because of what was depicted, but because of who was helping to tell the story.

The casting of Mike Tyson, athlete and convicted rapist, sparked outrage from viewers and rape victims, as well as a Change.org petition signed by more than 15,000 asking NBC and the series to reconsider Tyson's casting.

Keck's Exclusives: Mike Tyson discusses his controversial Law & Order: SVU role

Despite his own past criminal history, on Wednesday's episode, Tyson played the victim of a series of injustices. Although his character, Reggie Rhodes, was behind bars for a murder he admitted to committing, the reasons why he committed the crime were kept from the jury during his trial. With just 10 days left before Reggie was due to receive the death penalty, Det. Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and activist attorney Bayard Ellis (Andre Braugher) headed to Ohio to meet Reggie and confirm that he had, in fact, been sexually assaulted by a Jerry Sandusky-like camp counselor (Ed Asner) who had terrorized another young man under investigation by the rest of the SVU squad in New York.

Both Benson and Ellis were horrified to learn that Reggie had suffered sexual abuse throughout his life, beginning at the age of 5 or 6 by an uncle, then by his mother's boyfriend, then by the camp counselor and then by the man Reggie eventually murdered, Danforth.

At first, Reggie refused Benson and Ellis' help in getting a stay of execution because of these many hidden facts. "I did kill him. And I can't take that back. I'm trying to stay at peace. Now get the hell out of here," he yelled at the two in one unnerving scene.

TV musicals: The highs and lows

Ellis tried to get Reggie a stay of execution, but was initially dismissed by a biased board. However, the second time — with just three days left before Reggie was set to die — he was granted a stay of execution because of the blatant prosecutorial misconduct evident in the original murder trial. Just as Ellis was telling Reggie the good news, and getting a bear hug from Reggie, the camp counselor was seen in a police jumpsuit and handcuffs presumably going away for a very long time.

Although SVU showrunner Warren Leight has not spoken out publicly about Tyson's casting, or the subsequent controversy, on Wednesday he tweeted a thanks to Tyson for "taking on a role a lot of actors would not be brave enough to play."

So what did you think of Tyson's role and his performance? Sound off below.

View original Law & Order: SVU Airs Mike Tyson's Controversial Episode — What Did You Think? at TVGuide.com

Other Links From TVGuide.com

Source: TV Guide

 
 
 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/8" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com. Luigi posts regularly on LuigiMe.com about his experience running I4U.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Matt LeBlanc Joins Top Gear as Co-Host
Matt LeBlanc Joins Top Gear as Co-Host
Matt LeBlanc of Friends fame is to co-host the television program titled Top Gear.
 
 
Friends Reunion: What You Need to Know
Friends Reunion: What You Need to Know
It is really happening, but not in a way fans hope for.
 
 
The View Loses 3 More Advertisers while Miss America CEO Appreciates Joy Behar’s
The View Loses 3 More Advertisers while Miss America CEO Appreciates Joy Behar’s Apology
Miss America’s CEO commented that Joy Behar had taken the right step by apologizing to the nurse community after making fun of Kelley Johnson when she performed a monologue dressed in her nursing scrubs.
 
 
America’s Got Talent Winner is Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin
America’s Got Talent Winner is Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin
Winning one million dollars and a contract show in Las Vegas, the 10th season winner of America’s Got Talent, Paul Zerdin has been defined as a class on his own.